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Channelling the gas flow

Thursday, 10 April 2014 | 12:19
A spate of recent conferences has brought New York’s shipping community to life, in spite of cold weather. Industry leaders have offered their views of the future, which one of the most interesting coming from DNV-GL’s chief executive Tor Svensen, speaking at the Connecticut Maritime Association’s ‘Shipping 2014’.

Mr Svensen stressed the growing importance of LNG fuelling as sulphur tolerances tighten drastically for ships traversing Emission Control Areas. He sees regulations and fuelling matters as dramatically impacting ship design going forward.

In this respect, New Yorkers are following with interest the Staten Island Ferry’s upcoming experiment with LNG fuelling. At a recent Propeller Club event, Captain Jim DeSimone, who heads up the ferry department for New York City’s Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), suggested that regulatory glitches preventing LNG fuelling within the city were being sorted.

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) has not yet come to the realisation that a focus on LNG fuelling could jump-start its Marine Highway program, where routes with the potential to divert truck traffic on to barges and small ships have been identified. Nor has MARAD imagined a future where a central focus on LNG fuelling could actually provide this paper tiger with a viable mission.

But I digress; decision makers in port management positions and city planning offices at New York and other ports along the East Coast- smack in the middle of the North American Emission Control Area - ought to be emulating the NYC DOT and looking for ways to re-engine their craft to burn gas.

In my view of the world, the various US Federal agencies - herded by MARAD - will provide huge financial incentives for switching over to greener fuels.

The cooperation of an oil major is another integral part of the LNG future: at Shipping 2014 an engineer from Shell detailed efforts underway in the Gulf Coast and Great Lakes to create fuelling facilities, thereby solving the chicken and egg of LNG fuelling. At the same event, a team was out in force from the SanSail Group, a consultancy with numerous designs for LNG barging.

The future is now; the efforts at NYC DOT should be celebrated.
Source: Port Strategy
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